Watch a Huge 100-Foot Wave Crash Down and Smash a Ship

Damn. It’s like hitting a wall. Or rather, it’s like a wall hitting you. This footage shows giant wave after giant wave pummeling a ship and when you think they’ve finally weathered the storm, in comes the biggest and baddest wave that smacks the boat silly.


The maniacal laughter from the person taking the footage might be the best part of the video though.

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Ah yes, reminded me of the time I took USS CARNEY (DDG-64) through a hurricane.

Of course, we didn’t actually intend to DO so. We took a gamble and made a run from Rhode Island between the eastern US seaboard and Hurricane Kyle (2002), which decided to dance around all over the place before turning suddenly up the seaboard and slamming into us just off the coast of Jacksonville — out home port. By the time we realized what had happened the hurricane was too close for us to run for the middle of the Atlantic — you can’t put a heavy storm abeam the ship or you might capsize — so we turned the bow into the seas and ran all engines ahead full to power through it.

The experience was not pleasant.

Almost everyone on the ship was seasick. All of the dishes in the wardroom flew out of the cabinets and were smashed. We lost one of our Aegis arrays when a particularly nasty wave smashed into it, blowing out most of the windows.

For the last few hours of the storm there were only a handful of people NOT in their rack:

Me as the Conning Officer, the Captain as Officer of the Deck, and the Chief Boson (a Senior Chief) as Helmsman.

The Chief Engineer as Engineer of the Watch and the DCA (a Mustang) as the Engineering “Petty” Officer.

The Weapons Officer as Combat Information Center Officer of the Watch with the Operations Officer (also a Mustang, and a LCDR at the time) as the Radar Operator.

That’s it. Everyone else of the 280-person crew was in the rack, either for their own safety (they were all strapped in) or because they were too seasick to do anything else.

We lost the mast when a 200-ft wall of water slammed into our tin can just as we hit the trough of a 50-ft wave. We knew it was going to happen. Hell, it’s a miracle that we didn’t lose the 5-in gun mount! It came halfway out of its housing during a ~45-degree list after taking a rogue wave to the port beam that I didn’t see. I still remember the Captain yelling at me:

“If I lose that gun it’s coming out of your pay!”

And that was a Cat 1 Hurricane! I will never forget the experience for the rest of my life.